About Last Night: The Yankees Shut Out by the Blue Jays 4-0
by Tim Kabel
August 20, 2022
The Yankees continued their potentially epic collapse last night, as they were shut out for the third time in six games and the eleventh time this season. They are 24-31 in their last 55 games and 10 games below .500 since the All-Star break. There is no other way to say it, at this point, they are an awful team. Aaron Boone likes to say that they made a lot of deposits by building up all those wins early in the year but, now they are making a lot of withdrawals. If this keeps up, he will be working in his local bank next year, dispensing lollipops.
As part of the Yankees’ seemingly endless game of “Friday night hide and seek,” last night’s game was on Apple TV. After I used my phone to program my television, I was able to watch it. I wish that I had not. The technological gymnastics reminded me of when I tried to teach my beloved mother how to use a VCR over the phone. I felt like the man in the tower trying to talk Buddy Hackett and Mickey Rooney into landing a plane in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. I wish she was still here so I could try to teach her how to watch Apple TV.
The highlight of the game was seeing bobblehead doll versions of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. I wonder if the John Sterling bobblehead doll misjudges fly balls the way the real one does? Do you think the Suzyn doll rolls its eyes at the John doll?
The Yankees have lost five straight series for the first time since 2005 and are 4-13 in August.
Gleyber Torres came into the game hitting .187 since the All-Star break, which is the fifth lowest average in the Majors.
Jordan Montgomery has won as many games as the Yankees since he was traded to St. Louis.
Oswaldo Cabrera played three different positions in his first three games in the Major Leagues. He is the first player in team history to do so. He looked good in all three positions.
In the Yankees last eleven games, they have scored 3 or fewer runs ten times.
On yesterday’s date in 1903, the Philadelphia Phillies were rained out for the 10th consecutive day, a major league record. Why can’t that happen to the 2022 Yankees?
On yesterday's date in 1951, Bill Veeck signed 3’ 7” tall Eddie Gaedel to a contract with the St. Louis Browns. Gaedel, wearing uniform number 1/8, walked on four pitches in his only major league at-bat. Today, all Veeck would have to do is send any batter up against Aroldis Chapman.
The Big Story:
The Yankees are playing horrible baseball right now. They have been a mediocre team for approximately 1/3 of the season. It doesn't matter what they were at the beginning of the year. This is what they are now. Yes, they still have an eight-game lead over the Blue Jays but, on July 9th they had a 15 and a half game lead. The Yankees remind me of a giraffe caught in quicksand. They are confident because their head is well above the surface but, they are still sinking. It might take a little longer but, in the end, the giraffe will disappear just like a tortoise. Having a huge lead means nothing if you fritter it all away. The Yankees’ fans are showering their team and certain players with boos after poor plays and losses. I do not believe they are overreacting or panicking. This is not a short losing streak. The Yankees have been dismal for quite a while. Eventually, they will have been an awful team longer than they were a very good team.
Player of the Game:
Oswaldo Cabrera had some good at-bats and had one of the Yankees four hits. He also made a tremendous catch in the first inning, robbing Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. of a home run.
Lou Trivino came into the game in the sixth inning with runners on second and third and nobody out. He managed to escape without giving up a run.
Better to Forget:
Just about everything else. The offense was inept. Jameson Taillon was pedestrian. Aroldis Chapman couldn't find the strike zone once again
The Yankees built up a huge lead earlier this season. It's as if they were on the top floor of the Empire State Building. You know what, the fall from the top of the Empire State Building is a lot worse than the fall from the first floor. The Yankees are not slipping. They are plummeting. It is conceivable they could lose their huge lead entirely. The way they are playing now has to infuse the other American League East teams with confidence. The Red Sox have only won one series (of more than one game) against an American League East team this season. That came against the Yankees last weekend. If the Yankees don't win both of their next two games, they will have lost six series in a row.
Someone apparently woke Aaron Boone after tonight's game, because he said, “We should be ticked off right now, and we need to start playing better, plain and simple." He has an impressive grasp of the obvious but, I think it might be too little, too late. The other concerning component of this quote is that he is somehow removing himself from the equation. His dubious decisions and bizarre maneuvers have played a large role in the current malaise afflicting this team. It is as if he was Mrs. O'Leary's cow and now he's acting as an impartial analyst from the Chicago fire department.
I have been a consistently harsh critic of Boone since the Yankees hired him. I have been stating for quite a while that the Yankees organization needs to Boone-proof the team to the point where his inadequacies would not be extremely detrimental. For a while, that happened. The Yankees were winning despite his presence. Now, the wheels have fallen off and the team is sinking fast. He continues to make questionable decisions. For example, last night, Lou Trivino bailed out Jameson Taillon in the sixth inning, escaping a jam with runners on second and third and nobody out without giving up a run. Yet, Boone did not let him pitch the 7th inning. Trivino threw nine pitches. He could not have possibly been weary; his arm was not hanging off. His successor, Wandy Peralta, also threw nine pitches. He, too, was only allowed to pitch one inning.
Common sense does not seem to be very common in the home manager’s office at Yankee Stadium. The other night, Boone sent Aaron Hicks up to pinch hit for Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Let that one marinate for a minute. It's true that Kiner- Falefa is not a power hitter, despite his one home run last week. However, he does make contact and he is an adequate hitter. Aaron Hicks is among the worst players in the major leagues. He is the hallmark for offensive ineptitude. Using Aaron Hicks as a pinch hitter at this stage of his career, is like using Steve Balboni as a pinch runner. There's no justification for it whatsoever. Boone is culpable in the collapse we are witnessing. I was opposed to bringing him back this year, and unless he comes up with some solution, this team will disappear in October as fast as a snowball in July. If that happens, Boone will be gone as well.
This afternoon, the Yankees play the third of four games against the Blue Jays at home at 1:05 PM. Toronto’s Mitch White (1-3 3.72 ERA) will face Gerrit Cole (9-5 3.31 ERA).